It’s a small-screen world

mobileusersSQThis post originally appeared on The Economist Group’s Lean back blog.

The average person’s attention span is now even shorter than a goldfish’s, and mobile is pervasive, with activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S. No wonder so many marketers are intent on creating brand messaging that’s easy to notice, easy to read and easy to digest. But if that’s your principal focus, are you also creating sales and marketing content that’s easy to forget?

Today’s marketing campaigns must appeal to distracted, small screen users on the move, and we all know visuals are preferred over text. That means if you want to get your message across, the writing itself must adapt.

As content expert Neil Patel explains: “For mobile content, concise writing is essential. In this case, the necessity has more to do with the screen size than the user’s attention span. Your goal is to present the user with as much on-screen information as possible without requiring the user to swipe or tap. The more cogently you can express an idea, the better.”

Even so, images and writing alone aren’t enough. You also need data-driven marketing. I’ve seen too many companies invest resources to ensure downloads of snazzy new apps, only to be disappointed. It’s as though achieving metrics around downloads overshadowed the app’s real purpose: individual customer engagement.

Your objective isn’t to market an app. Your objective is to connect your brand with individual customers. Research shows that despite the numerous apps downloaded, few are used after the first few times.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to devote your efforts to increasing engagement among existing users? To do that, you need to:

  • Return to basics—your brand: A strong brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers. Make sure your app delivers your message clearly.
  • Put attention where it belongs—on the customer: Design your app around the needs, wants and preferences of your customers. Offer value.
  • Extend the customer relationship by developing individualized interactions that draw on customer data: Use real-time data-driven marketing to build ongoing relationships and enhance customer loyalty.
  • Use the new interactions to glean even more insights: Analytics enable you to architect better experiences, increase value to customers and ultimately, generate greater revenue.

As always, the success of your enterprise marketing strategy depends on solutions that boost real-world business transactions, whether those actions happen via an app or some other channel.

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